Opportunity knocked, and Mallards outfielder Jeff Bieker answered, by signing a professional contract with the Oakland Athletics the Madison Mallards announced Thursday.
Bieker, selected 461st overall in the 15th round of the 2005 MLB Draft on Tuesday, will play for the Vancouver Canadians, the Single ?A? Affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The Canadians play in the Northwest League along with seven other teams during the summer months each year. The team has a schedule of 76 games (38 home, 38 away) starting at the end of June each year.
As a member of the 2004 Northwoods League championship team, Bieker paced the team with six home runs, 11 doubles and four triples. He also led the team with a .448 slugging percentage and finished third on the team with 27 RBI in 58 games played.
In addition to his accomplishments in Madison, Bieker leaves Fort Hays State University as the all-time leader in batting average (.421) home runs (58) and slugging percentage (.879). The Hays, Kan. native earned third-team All-American honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings for the last two years. He also received his first All-American honor from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association with a first-team selection this season.
The Mallards (5-2) return to action at 7:05 p.m. tonight against the Eau Claire Express
(5-2) in the second game of a six-game home stand. Tickets for tonight?s game as well as all remaining Mallards home games are available by phone at 246.4277 or online at www.mallardsbaseball.com.